Celebrating the UK's trailblazing women - and inspiring the next generation

The First Women Programme was created by Real Business in 2005 and brings together outstanding women from all sectors.

The programme has created an enthusiastic and dedicated network of pioneering women, who engage directly through a series of high profile First Women events, including the Awards, Winners Lunch and Summit.

Real Business is the UK's is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs with 124,623 monthly unique visitors (ABC audit March 2015).

Created by

real business logo

Supported by

CBI logo

Working Lunch

At the First Women Working Lunch our inspirational winners and judges gathered to set the agenda for the 2016 First Women Summit.

Find out more


This full day summit leveraged ten years of the First Women movement, drawing on the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created to educate, mentor and inspire.

Find out more


Founded by Real Business and the CBI. Since 2005, the awards have grown in influence and impact and enjoy the support of many of the UK’s leading firms, industry bodies and inspirational business leaders.

Find out more

First Women Exclusives

May is also a favourite among the Labour and Liberal Dem camps

Theresa May in bid to become the second female British prime minister

Following the Brexit vote and David Cameron’s resignation, nine Tory Mps are duking it out for party leadership.

Read more
Raymond Moore said the women's game 'rides on the coattails' of the men cc Leonard Zhukovsky-Shutterstock

BBC’s Wimbledon coverage shows “commitment to men’s tournament”

A BBC executive defended recent stats which showed the broadcaster dedicated 93 per cent of coverage to men’s games.

Read more
"It is now essential that women be part of the nationwide debate about Britain’s future."

Now that Britain has withdrawn from the EU, what happens next?

The ramifications of the Brexit vote has already manifested in the economy, with the pound’s value tumbling by ten per cent.

Read more
Some of the winners from the awards night

Leading ladies from the 2016 First Women Awards

Hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan, the 2016 First Women Awards produced another stellar crop of leading ladies.

Read more
"We have achieved the primary aim of breaking down barriers and offering this high-potential community a route into enterprise"

First Women Award finalist recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours list and awarded MBE

First Women of Public Service nominee Ren Kapur has received a MBE for her service to the Armed Forces community.

Read more
Twice as many women as men are undecided about whether the debate has addressed their issues

The Brexit debate may be male dominated but women can decide the outcome of the EU referendum

With Britons closer to making one of the biggest decisions of their lifetimes, women voters have power to sway the results.

Read more

Join the conversation #RBFIRSTWOMEN

RB First Women RB First Women @RBFirstWomen #BBC’s #Wimbledon coverage shows “commitment to men’s tournament”: https://t.co/7jY4EuM3g3 #equality #tennis https://t.co/NcIfgZ7bFn 14 hours ago
Shana Kay Shana Kay @shanak RT @TimGAtDell: Very proud of the #Dell team and their ... #DiversityInclusion allows everyone to bring all of themselves to work!! https:/… 20 hours ago
Women In Tech Women In Tech @WomenInTechRT RT @RBFirstWomen: .@SkyUK is supercharging #womenintech with development schemes: https://t.co/LeShp3J48m #2016FWA #BusinessoftheYear http… 1 day ago
Inspirational YOUth Inspirational YOUth @IY_Youth RT @RBFirstWomen: .@SkyUK is supercharging #womenintech with development schemes: https://t.co/LeShp3J48m #2016FWA #BusinessoftheYear http… 1 day ago
Inspirational YOUth Inspirational YOUth @IY_Youth RT @annacook: Have a look at what Sky are doing for women in business, if you like what you see, vote for us! #BusinessoftheYear https://t.… 1 day ago
Inspirational YOUth Inspirational YOUth @IY_Youth RT @annacook: Great article by @Kathbum, the team are looking forward to seeing her tonight at the @RBFirstWomen awards! #FWAwards https://… 1 day ago
Inspirational YOUth Inspirational YOUth @IY_Youth RT @workforsky: Excited to go to the @RBFirstWomen awards tonight, where we've been shortlisted for business of the year! #FirstWomenAwards 1 day ago
Trent Refractories Trent Refractories @TrentRefractory Listen again to our award winning MD talk on @BBCSheffield this morning https://t.co/qKu8UhjCO0 #rbfirstwomen 2 days ago
Patricia Stuart Patricia Stuart @StuartPeaches RT @bisgovuk: The @RBFirstWomen awards showcases #womeninbusiness & supports our aim to increase representation in the FTSE350 https://t.co 2 days ago